In Our Own Words – Rico

In our own words

Rico Espindola

“The biggest benefit of working at Aerospace is being able to team with many technical experts willing to mentor their colleagues to solve the nation’s most challenging issues. I pass on this tradition by sharing STEM career possibilities with students on the reservation where I grew up; it’s gratifying to help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

From Pueblo to Supporting Our Nation’s Most Critical Missions

Whether it’s seeking the expertise of a particular colleague to solve a mission-critical issue or leadership advice from those who have gone before him, Ricardo “Rico” Espindola, systems director, Advanced Systems and Development Directorate, Strategic Space Operations, Systems Planning, Engineering, and Quality, says his career at Aerospace continues to be a challenge he enjoys.

Rico joined Aerospace in 2007 as a project engineer and, for him, it was a major turning point in his career. “I had some prior experience as a contractor for a technical company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the experience I gained as a systems engineer and program manager in the space and missile industry proved to be valuable for my position here. It helped me understand the different perspectives involved in any major program and that, in turn, helps when working key issues.”

Rico said his first job at Aerospace was the most exciting one to date. “I gained exposure to national security space programs and organizations that helped provide warfighting effects to combatant commanders. It was awesome to know that at the end of the day my efforts helped keep our nation safe. It wasn’t just a concept on a piece of paper. It was very real.”

Embracing opportunities

Rico began his Aerospace career as a project engineer in support of the Operationally Responsive Space Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, providing technical leadership for the corporation. He now serves as a systems director for the Ground Systems Division in the Advanced Systems and Development Directorate, working with ground systems, satellite operations, and launch services.

Working with the experts

Rico is quick to point out that it’s the technical expertise of our employees that really stands out when he thinks about working here. “You become an Aerospace employee because you are an expert in your field, have a desired education, or have gained experience that the corporation is willing to invest in. The depth and breadth of experience and knowledge across this corporation is tremendous.”

Inspiring the next generation

Rico embraces the opportunity to mentor and inspire the next generation of students who attend the same schools he did. That’s no surprise, because as a member of the Laguna Pueblo, a federally recognized tribe located in west-central New Mexico, he is true to his culture and the value it places on intellectual activity and education. The pueblo where Rico grew up is about 50 miles from his Aerospace office. Rico said that he finds personal fulfillment in returning there to share with the students his experiences helping solve some of our nation’s most difficult technical issues. “It’s my way of informing them of the career possibilities, especially in the STEM fields, that exist so close to home and beyond.”

If the thought of working at Aerospace appeals to you, check out our current openings.